It seemed about time again to write a post on why I don’t agree to give people private critiques of their erotic writing.
I’ll make this concise and in point form:
1. I used to. Then I realized that 90% of the requests came from people who wanted praise. Praise doesn’t help you improve your writing; it’s the literary equivalent of a hand job. And if you want a hand-job, I charge. I don’t adhere to the politically correct pedagogical theory that praise is helpful. And there is pretty good psychological data to back me up. Giving praise is EASY. Lazy teachers dole it out like candy, because it’s a fuck of a lot quicker than giving someone detailed critical feedback. I realized after investing hundreds of hours of time constructing serious critical responses, that it wasn’t what was wanted.
2. People who request private critiques are not ready to hear a critique from me. Believe me, the vast majority of feedback you get in a public forum is encouraging and gratifying and mostly useless circle-jerking. And if you’re scared of THAT, be very scared of me.
3. I teach writing. I write on writing. I write on teaching. I’ve been doing this for more than a decade and I get paid to do it.
4. I am interested in formally constructed fiction. I don’t interact with autobiographical sexual experiences or sex blogs or descriptions of personal sexual fantasy as a critical reader. Formally constructed fiction – whether erotic or otherwise – contains a theme, a structured plot, well-developed, realistic characters, and conflict. I am not interested in evaluating anything that does not contain these elements.
5. People assume I’m easy-going because I’m perverse. When in fact I’m probably one of the biggest bitches you are ever likely to come across. Do not mistake perversity for liberality.
6. People assume I am tolerant of their emotional baggage because I’m tolerant of their sexuality. This could not be further from the truth. I may be fascinated and intrigued by your desire to get pissed on or put a clamp on your lover’s cock, but I’ve got zero tolerance for other people’s insecurities, allergies, sense of entitlement or victim-hood. They bore the shit out of me. I have my own, thanks.
So… if you want me to read one of your stories, post it online (to show me you’ve at least worked up the courage to make it public) and send me a link to the story. Do not ask me for feedback. If I read it and like it, I’ll leave a comment. If I don’t have the time to read it, I’ll tell you I can’t. If I didn’t like it, I won’t leave a comment.
That’s the deal.